This is the story of how a little girl went from being constantly sick to healthy within a year (and then eventually to a bad-ass yogi tarot life coach, but I digress).
How you ask!?
Intense mindset and habit transformation.
Let me explain...
What is Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy?
It’s a mental disorder where a caregiver makes up or causes illness for someone they care for.
Disclaimer: My mother was a beautiful human with a beautiful heart. She was sensitive, caring and also conflicted due to years of hardcore trauma. I love her. I miss her. I forgive her. She gave me years of valuable lesson at a very young age. This is what I learned from her believing that I was far more sick than I ever was.
Though my memory from childhood is quite blurry (hello, trauma), I do remember the constant doctor visits, hospitals and surgeries. Once I was told I might have cancer… in my face. I watched my mom begin to mourn. Granted, some things needed fixing. Never mind that I was carrying the weight of poverty, abusive relationships, and shame of alcoholism with my mother (I knew far too many details) and our diet was mainly fast and boxed food. I had a minimally invasive heart surgery in 5th grade and my eyelid began to droop so we tightened that baby up.
I remember being questioned daily, sometimes hourly, about how I feel, which body part hurts, how much, is school an option, etc. By a fairly young age I was so intensely hyper aware of my body, inside and out. My mom believed I was sick and that only she understood. I needed her (and she needed me), Maybe I’ll write another article on codependency.
At some point, I started to realize many of these doctors were getting agitated. After so many tests came back ‘normal’ and yet this woman insisted her child was too sick to be a child. They’d remove her from the room and question me more.
I felt sick most days. I was too tired and achy for school and not much interested in playing. I don’t believe this was a conscious decision or effort being made by either of us. She believed that I was sick, sometimes dying, and I trusted her. Hell, I felt it!
Fast forward to age 14, I moved out of my mom’s house and into a completely different lifestyle. A couple from my church (who I still love dearly) took me in and holy shit… there were rules, boundaries, very little conflict, plenty of health, wealth and love to go around. My only responsibilities were school and chores. I discovered what vegetables actually looked like! They weren’t mushy at all unless canned and/or boiled to oblivion in salt and butter, of course.
Within a year, after intense unbrainwashing, I was pretty damn healthy… and better at math! I was told to challenge and question everything I knew to be true about myself and health. I was asked (okay, forced) to try new things and create new habits. Yes it took hours of tears and begging and hard boundary work but I was blessed enough to have these people willing to do the work with me.
All this to say, I learned three VALUABLE lessons from these years that I constantly use personally and with most (maybe all) of my clients:
We are all unique, but we do share similar lessons in this journey we call life. I was blessed to have awareness and hope at a young age and a supportive team to pull me through. No one needs to do this alone.
Not even you. I'm here to help.
Thank you for reading!
Writings from Devon Pelto to share tips, stories and inspirations to keep us connected to each other and our most fulfilling selves!